What Are Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming more and more common, especially as the Government is offering more and more incentives to install them in your home.

Heat pumps are becoming more efficient but depending on where you live they may not be what you need yet.

A heat pump works best when the temperature is above 40. Once outdoor temperatures drop to 40 degrees, heat pumps start losing efficiency, and they consume more energy to do their jobs. When temperatures fall to 25 to 30 degrees heat pumps begin to lose their effectiveness and their ability to provide heat efficiently over a gas furnace.

They work best in moderate climates, so if you don’t experience extreme heat and cold in your neck of the woods, then using a heat pump could help you save a little money each month.

A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another. Not too difficult, right? Heat pumps are typically used to pull heat out of the air or ground to heat your house, but they can be reversed to cool the house. In a way, if you know how an air conditioner works, then you already know a lot about how a heat pump works. This is because heat pumps and air conditioners operate in very similar ways.

What a heat pump does is use a small amount of energy to switch that process into reverse, thereby pulling heat out of a relatively low temperature area and pumping it into a higher temperature area. So, heat is transferred from a “heat source,” like the ground or air, into a “heat sink,” like your home.

One of the most common types of heat pumps is the air-source heat pump. These take heat from the air outside your home and pump it inside through refrigerant-filled coils, not too different from what’s on the back of your fridge. The air source variety is basic, and you’ll find two fans, the refrigerator coils, a reversing valve and a compressor inside to make it work.

There are many kinds of heat pumps, but they all operate on the same basic principle: heat transfer. This means that rather than burning fuel to create heat, the device moves heat from one place to another. The key to allowing the air-source heat pump to also cool is the reversing valve. This versatile part changes the flow of the refrigerant so the system can operate in the opposite direction. So instead of pumping heat inside your home, the heat pump releases it, just like your air conditioner does. When the refrigerant is reversed, it absorbs heat on the indoor side of the unit and flows to the outside. It’s here that the heat is released, allowing the refrigerant to cool down again and flow back inside to pick up more heat. This process repeats itself until you’re nice and cool.

Heat pumps are energy efficient for many homes but all depend on the temperatures on the area. Do your research be spending the money and realize what you have was not what you needed.